Battered Not Broken

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Ally Riviera's life is far from perfect. She's stuck in a not-so-good part of town, her family life is a true mess and her job is far from what she dreams of doing. Her only indulgence and way of keeping her head above the water are the MMA (mixed martial arts) fights she participates in.  Those and the time she spends in the gym help her deal with everything life throws at her.  Then one fine day, Ryan Moore walks in, and nothing is as it was before. He constantly challenges her, intrigues her, attracts her in every way - and the feelings are mutual. Ryan finds her compelling, and is willing to fight to prove that they can be good together.

What an intriguing story about two struggling people who aren't afraid to fight for what truly matters!  Seeing a woman as an MMA competitor is a nice change from the oftentimes male fighters with testosterone overload. Given the harsh realities in this book, the way that Ryan treats Ally as an equal in every way is nice. The problem lies with the pacing of the story. It seems like everything bad from their past is drug up, and then dismissed in the shortest time frame possible, making it feel a bit unreal. The romance itself is mostly good, but more time dedicated to the emotional side (instead of the physical) of their relationship would have contributed greatly to the depth in the reading experience. Nevertheless, it was still a story with a refreshing plot and interesting characters!

Ana Smith